We’ve now had three full-length fires in our new wood stove. During the first burn, I got a bit nervous that the stove was too small. I’m so used to jamming huge logs into our other stove that I wasn’t quite prepared for what I’d need to satisfy this one. Our new stove is less than half the size of our larger stove. In case you’re interested, our larger stove is an Englander 30-NCH, which burns up to 22 inch logs. This new stove is a cute little Englander 17-VL, which comfortably burns much smaller 14 inch logs. Not only do the logs need to be shorter in length, they also need to be thinner all around.
At first, I was trying to burn the largest logs that fit into this smaller stove. That didn’t turn out too well. It didn’t like that at all. Once I accepted the fact that the actual size of the logs needed to be smaller and then agreed to this fact, I’ve had two very nice fires. The stove really cranks and I’m happy to report that I’m fairly thrilled with it.
So far, we had one fairly cool fire, one medium fire of around 300 degrees and a hotter more recent fire of about 400 degrees. I read that you’re supposed to break in a brand new stove, so that’s what I’ve been doing. The thing is, each time I have a fire going, the paint bakes a bit more than it did during the previous fire. I’m starting to wonder how long we’ll have to deal with the stink of baking paint. I’ll tell you this though; the first fire was horrible, the second fire was pretty bad and last night’s fire was semi-bad at the beginning, but wasn’t bad at all towards the end. I’d say that fire lasted approximately six hours, so I’m guessing all the baking was done at the beginning.
I was doing some reading last night on this topic and apparently, this is how it works. Every time you increase the temperature of the stove, more paint will bake off of it until you reach the highest temperature you’ll ever reach. I’m happy with last night’s temperature as the entire house was over 80 degrees. Granted, it was about 50 degrees outside, so that’s not much of a feat in and of itself. We’ll have to see how it does in mid-January, when things get real. I have a feeling this little stove will serve us well. I could sit there and watch those flames behind that window all night.